The NZ Anti-Bases Campaign says one of America’s B-52 Stratofortresses, which were responsible for innumerable civilian deaths in Vietnam,Cambodia and the Middle East, is due to fly over the Wairarapa soon.
Wings Over Wairarapa mission
Wings Over Wairarapa airshow chairman Bob Francis said in a Stuff report they were working very hard to bring a B-52 on a fly past at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton on Saturday, February 27, in the early afternoon.
This follows unsuccessful attempts in recent years to have a B-52 fly at both the Wairarapa and Wanaka air shows.
Francis is quoted in Stuff as saying: :“I would like to say thank you to the United States Embassy for their incredible support in helping us make this dream a reality.”
Systematic aerial destruction in Asia
Because it is synonymous with the systematic aerial destruction inflicted upon Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War, some people think the B-52s are historic relics.
But although B-52s date back to 1952 they have been in continuous use by the US Air Force ever since, and remain so today.
They have been most recently used to bomb Syria and, in 2020, were deployed to the Indian Ocean base at Diego Garcia as part of Trump’s aggressive military threatening of Iran following the murder of an Iranian general.
Former mission to Wairarapa aborted
The monster aircraft was due to do a flypast at the last Wairarapa airshow in 2019, but it was cancelled at the last minute due to operational issues.
Long-range subsonic bomber
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic jet-powered strategic bomber, designed and built by Boeing.
It has been operated by the United States Air Force since the 1950s, can carry up to 32,000kg of weapons and has a typical combat range of more than 14,000km without aerial re-fuelling.
Because of its weight, it is unable to land on the Masterton runway and no weapons will be carried on this flight as it enters New Zealand airspace.
Organisers stressed that the B-52’s scheduled participation was subject to change in the event there are unforeseen weather conditions, operational requirements or unavoidable circumstances.
The Wings Over Wairarapa airshow is being held at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton from February 26 to 28.
Wikipedia history of carpet bombing in Cambodia
Wikipedia says the first carpet bombing in Cambodia ( known as ‘Operation Breakfast’) began on the night of 18 March, 1969, with a raid by 60 B-52 Stratofortress bombers, based at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
Although the aircrews were briefed that their mission was to take place in South Vietnam, 48 of the bombers were diverted across the Cambodian border and dropped 2,400 tons of bombs.
‘Breakfast‘ was so ‘successful’ (in U.S. terms) that a list of 15 more known Base (supposed communist bases) Areas were targeted.
President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger went to great lengths to keep the missions secret. And to prevent criticism of the bombing, an elaborate dual reporting system of the missions was formulated.